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Future


Navigating toward the best of all possible futures. Follow along as Singularity Hub discusses the future and latest trends in futurology.

Metasurfaces Open the Door to Telekinesis and Telepathy With Technology

Stranger Things fans will be familiar with this scene: Eleven, a girl with telekinetic powers, stares intently at a Coke can. Without physically touching the can, she completely crushes it using her mind alone. Changing...

Microsoft to Archive Music on Futuristic Slivers of Glass That Will Live 10,000 Years

War, disease, division—things aren't looking too rosy for humanity at the moment. But thanks to Microsoft, at least we'll be listening to Stevie Wonder after the apocalypse. The tech giant is partnering with Elire...

Democracy Is Ailing. Here’s How We Can Start Reviving It

Masks. Vaccines. Immigration. Abortion. Gun control. Taxes. The list of divisive issues in American politics goes on, with liberals and conservatives seeming more polarized and less able to agree than ever before. Indeed, democracy...

The Ideal Qubit? Future Quantum Computers Could Crunch Data With Single Electrons on Neon Ice

The digital world—your laptop, the internet it's connected to, and the companies that make it all go—sits on a foundation of bits. These bits are the language digital computers speak. Bits come in two flavors:...

Blasting Out Earth’s Location in Hopes of Reaching Aliens Is Controversial—Two Teams of Scientists Are Doing It Anyway

If a person is lost in the wilderness, they have two options. They can search for civilization, or they could make themselves easy to spot by building a fire or writing HELP in big...

Space Blocs: The Future of International Cooperation in Space Is Splitting Along Lines of Power on Earth

Even during times of conflict on the ground, space has historically been an arena of collaboration among nations. But trends in the past decade suggest that the nature of cooperation in space is shifting,...

Are NFTs a Passing Trend, or Here to Stay? Beeple Weighs In

From oddly-dressed apes to clip-art yachts, NFTs have been all the rage for the last year. But will this new trend last, or is it just that—a trend that will ultimately fade, leaving those...

Future Evolution: How Will Humans Change in the Next 10,000 Years?

READER QUESTION: If humans don’t die out in a climate apocalypse or asteroid impact in the next 10,000 years, are we likely to evolve further into a more advanced species than what we are...

This $4 Desalination System Can Meet a Family’s Daily Water Needs

In 2018 Cape Town, South Africa came frighteningly close to being the world’s first major city to run out of water. Unfortunately it’s not alone; water scarcity is a growing problem in multiple regions...

Astronomers Suggest a Surprising New Way to Detect Alien Megastructures

How do you power a super advanced alien civilization? Soak up a star. We harness the power of the sun using solar panels. What if you were to scale this idea to astronomical proportions? Surround...

A UK Startup Is Building 200 Flying Taxi Hubs Around the World

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas two years ago, Hyundai and Uber unveiled an air taxi concept they’d partnered on, claiming people would be riding in the flying vehicles by 2030. Now Hyundai...

How Will the Universe End? Scientists Seek an Answer in the Biggest Galaxy Map Yet

This week, astrophysicists presented the biggest map of the universe yet. Having nailed down the position of 7.5 million galaxies, the map is larger and more detailed than all its predecessors combined. And it's nowhere...

NFT Sneakers Take Off as Nike and Adidas Look to Cash in on Digital Shoes

Recently NFTs have taken the form of everything from apes to a yacht to a life-sized 3D video sculpture. As trading volume of NFTs hits a staggering $22 billion and we near the end...

The Metaverse Will Need 1,000x More Computing Power, Says Intel

With land in virtual worlds selling for millions of dollars, NFTs flooding the internet, and Meta (formerly Facebook) employees saying the word "metaverse" over 80 times during a keynote presentation last month, it seems...

These Maps Reveal the Profound Progress and Peril of Modern Civilization

Today's mega-threats are systemic and interconnected. The growing demand for energy and meat helps explain the steady rise in carbon and methane emissions. Coal-belching factories and burning forests are in turn speeding up global...

The Moon’s Surface Has Enough Oxygen to Sustain 8 Billion People for 100,000 Years

Alongside advances in space exploration, we’ve recently seen much time and money invested into technologies that could allow effective space resource utilization. And at the forefront of these efforts has been a laser-sharp focus...

Seismic ‘Telescope’ Reveals a Titanic, Tree-Like Plume Feeding Earth’s Volcanoes

Some 75% of the world's volcanoes live along the aptly name Ring of Fire. This makes sense. Hugging a boundary between tectonic pates, the Ring of Fire is an open seam on the planet's...

This Asteroid May Be the Shard of a Dead Protoplanet—and Have More Metal Than All the Reserves on Earth

It’s often said Earth’s resources are finite. This is true enough. But shift your gaze skyward for a moment. Up there, amid the stars, lurks an invisible bonanza of epic proportions. Many of the materials...

Drugs, Robots, and the Pursuit of Pleasure: Why Experts Are Worried About AIs Becoming Addicts

In 1953, a Harvard psychologist thought he discovered pleasure—accidentally—within the cranium of a rat. With an electrode inserted into a specific area of its brain, the rat was allowed to pulse the implant by...

Magnetizable Concrete in Roads Could Charge Electric Cars While You Drive

One of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle adoption is the fear of running out of juice before you get to your destination. Roads that can charge your vehicle as you drive could be...
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NASA Timelapse Shows X-59 Supersonic Jet Being Built Over Two Years

The final flight of British Airways’ Concorde took place in October 2003, going from New York to London in three and a half hours. Inaugurated in 1976, the supersonic jet flew more than 2.5...

These Mice Were Born From Sperm That Spent Almost 6 Years in Space

As inconceivable as it still sounds, the wheels have been set in motion for humans to one day reach and colonize Mars. There’s already a detailed design for the first Martian city, SpaceX is...

This Drone Bus Will Carry 40 Passengers Between Cities for the Price of a Train Ticket

Multiple companies are working on new aerial modes of transportation, be they taxis that fly, drones that drive, or cars that drive and fly. What most of these vehicles have in common is that...

When Will the First Baby Be Born in Space?

When the first baby is born off-Earth, it will be a milestone as momentous as humanity’s first steps out of Africa. Such a birth would mark the beginning of a multi–planet civilization for the...

Japan Wants to Build Intercontinental Passenger Spaceships by the Early 2040s

A booming space industry is making it easier than ever to get into orbit, but Japan is betting that it could revolutionize terrestrial travel, too. The country’s science ministry has unveiled a plan to...

See the Wild Plans for Nüwa, a Proposed City on Mars Built Inside a Giant Cliff

Despite being able to land rovers on Mars and fly helicopters there, it seems humans are still somewhat far away from actually setting foot on the red planet. But for an endeavor as unprecedented...

Singularity Is Relaunching the ‘Singularity Radio’ Podcast Network

While Covid-19 has reshaped many aspects of our lives, one thing that hasn’t changed is the desire to learn and stay entertained while juggling our many day-to-day obligations. To make sure we’re doing our...

Google AI Researchers Are Dreaming Up a New Species of Search Engine

Imagine a collection of books—maybe millions or even billions of them—haphazardly tossed by publishers into a heaping pile in a field. Every day the pile grows exponentially. Those books are brimming with knowledge and answers....

Toyota Is Building a Futuristic Prototype City Powered by Hydrogen

Most of the focus for making self-driving cars a widespread reality is on the cars themselves, specifically on the technology they require to safely perceive and interact with the world around them: sensors, cameras,...

In ‘Klara and the Sun,’ We Glimpse an Eerie Future Through the Eyes of a Robot

In a store in the center of an unnamed city, humanoid robots are displayed alongside housewares and magazines. They watch the fast-moving world outside the window, anxiously awaiting the arrival of customers who might...

The Game Has Changed: Why We Need New Rules for Space Exploration

The first human expedition to Mars could take place within five to ten years. The crew will be made up mainly of volunteers, with the goal of establishing a colony on the red planet...

Will Robots Make Good Friends? Scientists Are Already Starting to Find Out

In the 2012 film Robot and Frank, the protagonist, a retired cat burglar named Frank, is suffering the early symptoms of dementia. Concerned and guilty, his son buys him a “home robot” that can...

Flying Taxis Will Hit LA Skies by 2024, According to a California Startup’s Plan

Air taxis still seem like a far-off concept, especially in a time when a lot of people have stopped flying or using shared transportation altogether. But the technology has continued to advance nonetheless, as...

We’re Teaching Robots to Evolve Autonomously—So They Can Adapt to Life Alone on Distant Planets 

It’s been suggested that an advance party of robots will be needed if humans are ever to settle on other planets. Sent ahead to create conditions favorable for humankind, these robots will need to...

China Wants to Be the World’s AI Superpower. Does It Have What It Takes?

China’s star has been steadily rising for decades. Besides slashing extreme poverty rates from 88 percent to under 2 percent in just 30 years, the country has become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and...

These Futuristic Flying Ambulances May Soon Be Zooming Around New York

Ambulance use surged in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as emergency medical service providers struggled due to the revenue hit they took from delayed and canceled elective procedures. While we’re fervently hoping...

Forget Your Five-Year Plan: What If We Visualized Humanity’s Future in Centuries, Millennia, and Beyond?

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s a classic job interview question, designed to probe your level of ambition and aspiration. And it probes about as far ahead as many of us...

Amazon’s New Robotaxi Has No Steering Wheel, But It Can Drive for 16 Hours Straight

After almost a year of limiting our contact with the people in our lives and humanity in general, it’s hard to imagine a future where we freely move about our cities and towns going...

Future Cities: New Challenges Mean We Need to Reimagine the Look of Urban Landscapes

Imagining future cities has long been a favorite activity for architects, artists, and designers. Technology is often central in these schemes—it appears as a dynamic and seemingly unstoppable force, providing a neat solution to...

How Much Do Our Genes Restrict Free Will?

Many of us believe we are masters of our own destiny, but new research is revealing the extent to which our behavior is influenced by our genes. It’s now possible to decipher our individual genetic...

Will the Coronavirus Evolve to Be Less Deadly?

No lethal pandemic lasts forever. The 1918 flu, for example, crisscrossed the globe and claimed tens of millions of lives, yet by 1920, the virus that caused it had become significantly less deadly, causing...

Why We Need a Collective Vision to Design the Future of Health

My mother died of Covid-19 at the age of 91. She was recovering from surgery in an assisted-living facility in Durham, North Carolina. While she had previously been healthy, the virus aggressively invaded her...

There Could Be 300 Million (or More) Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy

The first planets discovered outside our solar system were strange, unfamiliar worlds. These were giants like Jupiter, hotter than Venus, tearing around their suns inside the orbit of Mercury. Astronomers have since discovered planets...

The Far Side of the Moon Is an Ideal Place to Listen For Alien Civilizations

Are we alone in the universe? It’s a question whose answer—whether it's yes or no—would philosophically and scientifically rock our world to the core. To find out, scientists have long been turning powerful radio telescopes...

Digital Technologies Will Help Build Resilient Communities After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Amid the horrific public health and economic fallout from a fast-moving pandemic, a more positive phenomenon is playing out: Covid-19 has provided opportunities to businesses, universities, and communities to become hothouses of innovation. Around the...

The World’s Space Agencies Are on a Quest to Deflect a (Harmless) Asteroid

People have a bottomless appetite for all things space these days. Some space news is truly mind-blowing, like the first image of a black hole last year or this year’s time lapse of said...

IBM Plans to Have a 1,000-Qubit Quantum Computer by 2023

The point at which quantum computers transition from expensive science experiments to a technology that could reshape the future always seems about a decade away. But a new technology roadmap from IBM suggests that...

Airbus Just Unveiled Three New Zero-Emission Concept Aircraft

Air travel has plummeted during the pandemic; not only do a lot of people not feel safe being in airports or on planes, but with everything we used to do being closed or canceled,...

Resilience Is the New Black: The Lessons of Covid-19

For years it can seem as if the world is predictable, and then all at once, everything changes. Most of us have been blown away by the speed at which the coronavirus, Covid-19, has swept...

Uber Wants to Go All-Electric by 2030. It Won’t Be Easy

The coronavirus pandemic has been an all-around nightmare, but there are a few silver linings. One of these is a renewed focus on the environment. Emissions plummeted worldwide when countries went into lockdown in...

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